Environment, food, society… The creation of impact start-ups by women is accelerating

They are 27% of business creators to shake up the rules for a positive impact on society. This March 8, a JFD/EY/France Digitale study reveals their potential.

Where and how many are the women in the new profusion of impact start-ups in recent years? What is their visibility, their uniqueness, their future? A study entitled “Invest in her” was conducted jointly by the Digital Women’s Day, EY and France Digitale among 1,100 companies with a social, environmental or economic impact, to provide answers to these questions, in the light of the day of March 8, 2023. Its presentation, this Wednesday at the Ministry of Digital Transition and Telecommunications, in Paris, is also the occasion for a meeting between a hundred impact start-ups founded by women and investors to try to accelerate fundraising.

Citizenship, social ties, agriculture…

Women, actors of a positive transformation of the world and of society? In total, the study notes, 27% of impact start-ups were founded or co-founded by women, a percentage that rises to 33% for companies less than 5 years old. In this very specific field of the economy, where it is a question of participating directly in the improvement of society by creating positive effects on the environment as well as on people (mode of governance and/or sharing of more ethical value), women are therefore increasingly present.

They are mainly found in projects devoted to citizenship and social ties, food and agriculture, responsible tourism, and support for organizations, but they are still under-represented in the fields of energy and mobility, depollution and industry in general. Yesterday, first coming from business schools, something new for about 5 years is now among engineers by training (62%) that we find today the most creators of impact start-ups (Centrale Supélec, Polytechnique, Arts et Métiers, SupAéro, etc., as if the bridges between the scientific and entrepreneurial worlds were increasingly consolidated.

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collective strength

A striking fact in this study is that women, often from the start, do not enroll alone but choose a management team (duo or trio of co-founders), mixed in 80% of cases. “At the beginning of French Tech, we saw women creating start-ups mainly in the health and care sectors, today there are more and more of them in sectors with an environmental, economic and social impact, and it’s happy!” rejoices Delphine Rémy-Boutang, founder of the JFD growth accelerator. “Five years ago, few people bet on food waste, it was a woman, Lucie Basch, who co-founded Too Good To Go. are anything but niches; that’s where the funds now want to go. We are living in a decisive moment to promote these impact start-ups, with a vision and governance that women know and want to transform,” concludes Delphine Rémy-Boutang.

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